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Common Name: Milksnake
Scientific Name: Lampropeltis triangulum

A Little Bit About Milksnakes:

The milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum) is a species of king snake. They are distributed from southeastern Canada, through most of the United States, to Central America, down to western Ecuador and northern Venezuela of northern South America. Milksnakes can grow between 20 to 60 inches (50-152 cm) long.

Milksnakes have smooth and shiny scales which can be easily distinguished. Their typical color pattern is alternating bands of red-black-yellow or white-black-red, however, red blotches instead of bands are seen in some populations. Some milk snakes have a striking resemblance to coral snakes and this mimicry (known as Batesian mimicry) likely scares away potential predators. While both milksnakes and coral snakes possess transverse bands of red, black and yellow, a common mnemonic can be used to properly distinguish between the deadly coral snake and the harmless milksnake:

"Red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow. Red touches black, you're okay, Jack." or;
"Red touch black, friend of jackl;Red touch yellow, kill a fellow." or;
"Red next to black, is a friend of Jack; red next to yellow, will kill a fellow." or;
"Red to yellow, kill a fellow. Red to black, venom lack." or;
"Red and yellow, kill a fellow. Red and black, friend of Jack." or;
"Red on yellow, dangerous fellow. Red on black, friend to Jack." or;
"If yellow follows red you're dead."
"Red to yellow, you're a dead fellow. Red to black, just step back"

Alphabetical Milksnakes Article Listings

» Blanchard's Milksnake » Dixon's Milksnake » Eastern Milksnake
» Jalisco Milksnake » Louisiana Milksnake » Mexican Milksnake
» New Mexico Milksnake » Pueblan Milksnake